Ivanka Trump returns to the frontline as she beams alongside Donald at UFC in Miami

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Donald Trump made a cage-side appearance with daughter Ivanka at UFC 299 in Miami on Saturday night just hours after addressing a crowd of supporters in Rome, Georgia.

The former President strolled in during the undercard ahead of the Sean O’Malley-Marlon Vera main event. And as has been the case with his previous appearances at UFC events, Trump was joined by the organization’s founder, Dana White.

Also similar to his previous cage-side appearances: Fans showered the Republican presidential nominee with applause as a Kid Rock anthem played out over the arena’s sound system. 

This time, Trump’s well-wishers included Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, who approached the former President in a colorful Hawaiian shirt, patted him on the back and exchanged some quick pleasantries. Interestingly, while Portnoy was previously supportive of Trump, he recently backed Nikki Haley‘s doomed campaign for the GOP presidential nomination.  

Former ESPN host Sage Steele was also seen speaking with Trump. Steele has recently become popular among Trump supporters for her outspoken criticism of trans athletes in women’s sports and her outrage at ESPN’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. 

Donald Trump is pictured alongside daughter Ivanka at UFC 299 in Miami on Saturday night
Former US President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump attend UFC 299 in Miami
Former US President Donald Trump (C) chats with UFC CEO Dana White (R) during UFC 299
Ivanka Trump (right), Donald Trump (center), and Dan White (left) are pictured at UFC 299

The 54-year-old White has been a staunch supporter of Trump and once got into an argument with a sponsor over a social media post involving the former President.

‘I posted a video of Trump on my personal social media,’ White told comedian Theo Von following Trump’s appearance at UFC 295 in New York on November 11. ‘One of our big sponsors called and said, ‘Take that down.’ You know what I said? ‘Go f*** yourself.’

‘You vote for whoever you want to vote for, and I’ll vote for whoever I want to vote for. That’s how this works. I don’t even care who you’re voting for, it’s none of my f***ing business. F*** you. Don’t ever f***ing call me and tell me who to vote for.

‘I’m at a point now in my life and my career where I want to be with people that I’m aligned with. It’s not just about the money; it is about the money, because it’s a sponsorship deal, but it’s not just [about the money]. I’m not going to take a bigger offer if it’s not something that I am aligned with and I don’t 100 percent believe in.’

Since then, White’s affinity for Trump has only grown, leading the former President to make several other appearances at UFC events in recent months. 

This was a rare outing for Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka. The father-daughter pair were last seen together publicly in January 2024, at Melania Trump’s mother’s funeral in Palm Beach. 

Before that sighting, Ivanka – who once was in Trump’s inner political circle with her husband Jared – had taken a noticeable step back from her father’s business. 

There were rumors of the two having dinner together in June 2023 for Trump’s birthday, but before Saturday night, Ivanka and Donald were last pictured together at Tiffany Trump’s wedding in November 2022. 

Ivanka has been absent from her father’s Republican nomination campaign – and even missed his announcement when he said he would be running for president again.

But since Nikki Haley – Trump’s only competition for the GOP ticket – backed out of the race following Super Tuesday, Ivanka has come back on the scene with her dad. 

One of the last times Donald Trump (third from right) and Ivanka Trump (right) were seen in public together was in late 2022 – at Tiffany Trump’s wedding
Donald Trump is seen in attendance during the UFC 299 event at Kaseya Center
Trump is seen with Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy (left),  who had supported Nikki Haley
Donald Trump is seen greeting former ESPN host Sage Steele at UFC 299 in Miami
Tony Hawke appears at UFC 299
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy is seen in attendance during the UFC 299 event at Kaseya Center
Steve-O watches the fight between Jack Della Maddalena and Gilbert Burns during UFC 299

Trump has yet to be embraced by Joe Rogan, the actor and comedian who now splits his time between a popular podcast and UFC color commentating duties. 

As Rogan told his podcast audience last year, Trump’s people have tried to book him on the show, only to be rebuffed by the host. 

 ‘I’m not a Trump supporter in any way, shape or form,’ Rogan said. ‘I’ve had the opportunity to have him on my show more than once. I’ve said no every time. I don’t want to help him. I’m not interested in helping him.’

But even without Rogan’s support, Trump has continued to praise the UFC, just as he did in Georgia on Saturday night. 

‘It’s the closest thing I can see really reflective of the election process that we have in this country, the UFC fights,’ Trump said at the rally in Rome. ‘That may be a little tamer than the election business.

‘Dana White has done a great job. I hope he doesn’t run for office against me. He’s done a fantastic job. It’s an easier business than politics.’

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